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ARC Review: The Wicked Billionaire (Tate Brothers #2) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: The Wicked Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 10/03/17
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Tate Brothers #2

Overview

This high-concept series brings together the glamour of Park Avenue and hot Navy SEALs in dark, smoldering contemporary romances.

The Tate Brothers were once orphans and they have been raised to do one thing only: protect what is theirs.

As a trained sniper and Navy SEAL, Lucas Tate found the courage to distance himself from the wealthy, wicked patriarch who adopted him. Instead, he’s devoted his life to the elite band of brothers from his unit. So when the widow of one of his former comrades finds herself in apparent danger, Lucas makes it his job to protect her against all enemies. . .and not let her out of his sights.

Grace Riley feels overwhelmed by Lucas’s presence, but the cold-eyed marksman will do anything to keep her safe. Soon the special attention he pays her becomes a wild romantic distraction—one that troubles Grace, since Lucas was so close to her deceased husband. Still, how can she resist Lucas’s intense, ice-blue stare? All she knows is that a life without strong, passionate Lucas is one not worth living. Can Lucas can find a way to honor his former brother-in-arms by saving Grace. . .and loving her, too?

My Thoughts

First off, thank you to the folks at St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for getting me this ARC – it’s a great series and i’m so glad to see what was next for the Tate brothers.  We had the exciting introduction into their family a while back with the eldest brother and now it seems like it’s time to get into Lucas’s story – especially since there were hints throughout book 1 that he had something else going on.  that something else was protecting Grace.

So, Grace – where do we start – she’s a girl that Lucas knew of because she was married to one of his close friends in the SEALs – and after his death there’s so much that’s come up, with Lucas only learning about that after his own father has passed away and revealed a secret.  So Lucas finds himself trying to protect Grace from several folks that are after money that her husband owed people after getting involved with De Santis in an arms deal gone wrong.

Lucas on the other hand, he’s a guy who is so stoic, a man who won’t allow himself to feel anything because he thinks that he needs to deny himself of all pleasure and happiness….and he feels that its also the only way to stay in control of his life.  Grace makes that quite difficult because she’s not that sort at all, she’s an artist and by nature she’s the kind of woman who is driven by emotion and passion.  So seeing these two come together is quite interesting.

When Grace’s life is put in danger, and Lucas has to hole them up in a secret apartment that he owns, we see them grow closer together, but it takes a while for them ever to admit that they have an attraction because they both can’t really figure it out.  When they do finally get together, it’s hot and steamy and so appropriate for what the story needs.  Ms Ashenden has a knack for finding the best moments to introduce the heat and chemistry and make it build.

There’s so much going on in this story that you stay sucked in.  Grace as an artist is trying to finish her series of paintings for her first ever  show and she’s having a mental block on the final piece.  Lucas ultimately because the muse for it and when the show debuts, it’s something quite impressive.  Then there’s the bits of someone is still after Grace and when someone sneaks past their defenses and she’s at risk, we see true feelings come out.

I think that we get what we were expecting here, but with the way that the story’s written, we don’t know what the full ending will be and may not even know it with the finale of the last brother’s story.  I feel like De Santis will be a thorn in their side forever, even from what we got in the series from that side of things.  (recall that we got several books of the de santis heirs). So, who knows where things will go, and what family secrets will be uncovered next, but i know that i can’t wait to find out.  Enjoy!

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